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Jerry DeWitt Education. (2013) 'Hope After Faith An Ex-Pastor's Journey From Belief to Atheism.' New.

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Jerry 5, Louisiana 4, Us 4, Natasha 4, Dominion 2, Pentecostal 2, Katrina 2, Jesus 2, Atheism 1, Long 1, Untouchable 1, Pentecostal Doctrine 1, Islam 1, Pluralist 1, Us An E-mail 1, Jehovah 1, Mankind 1, New Orleans 1, Pentecospentecos Tal Lifestyle 1, Usual U.s.a. 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Jerry DeWitt  Education.  (2013) 'Hope After Faith  
   An Ex-Pastor's Journey From Belief to Atheism.' New.  

    August 18, 2013
    7:30 - 8:46pm EDT  

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was this bad idea from the 19,053rd french republic. >> your off the hook. >> liberalism, they tend to be tolerant, but there are so intolerant of religion. >> the least of certain kinds. there that tall -- no problem tolerating or any other religion but christianity. note that. they're is a reason for that. i read some articles. why can't liberals understand what islam is up to? because they have a long history of -- because liberalism is defined as directly against christianity it tried to come in the 18th and 19th centuries list of other religions as superior to warrant least equal to christianity. that is what the study of religion came out.
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and in doing that they would list for religion is better than christianity or at least equally good to not christianity off the central pedestal in the culture. that is how your new age professor can go out and worship trees and argue that all christians are not to need to be taken of the public square. so it is not just that they are against religion. they're against christianity. >> thank you. [applause] >> is there and nonfiction author a book you would like to see featured on book tv? send us an e-mail. tweet us. >> this is a place where you have to know what you are about because there will be other people who want to tell you what you are about, and they don't have your best interests in mind. that is where survivalist man
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had becomes assistant about being what i am and be fixed. an open question, is that unique to prison, is that how most americans are who are strangely absolutist and pluralist at the same time? you know, my treat is the one true truth, but i recognize go right to some wrong truth. i don't know the answer to that question. >> absolutely. >> joshua do book on religion and theology at pennsylvania back some security prison tonight at 9:00 on after words, part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> former pentecostal preacher turned atheist recalls his loss of faith and the subsequent termination of his relationship with his wife, france, and parishioners in louisiana. this is about an hour. >> it is truly a pleasure to be with you.
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i cannot get a high enough or strong enough appreciation for the great turnout. thank you. you have been with me from the very beginning. if chammy great kindness. it would not -- but would not have to talk about it very much longer for me to tear up. thank you. thank you. i am every day amazed -- i am amazed at how many things that were lost have been replaced. and is intellectually people are stepping up to replace all of those little lost during this throughout my life. so thank you for that. thank you. give yourself a round of applause for that place. [applause] i am going to try to read rather quickly. if you have your bibles with you -- [laughter]
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i don't know if i have read in public without having to say that. so bear with me. you know anything about me, and he should know probably more than you want to if you have read the book, you know that i am not the world's best reader. probably the world's worst speller. i was the child sitting in the third grade classroom. whenever it would be our duty that day to read i would literally, the paris on the page anybody else ever do that? to so that i could practice that one paragraph over and over. so i'm going to read this. instead of just reading it as if i were steady in a cluster of instead of going to be from my heart. so this sounds a little different sometimes. that's okay. it makes sense to everybody. so start on page 179 if you want to follow along.
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have to keep in mind that i was desperately trying to stay in face. i spent many, many years and had seen what i believed as the power of god being demonstrated in this revival services as we call them. and so when i found out that the faith healer was coming to our town or a nearby town, my heart jobs. it was an opportunity for me to may be relive the same experience, that same level of guns closeness, and i was desperate. when i drove into the parking lot that night there was nothing that i wanted more in my life them to feel the same feelings i have felt in the past. so that is where we picked up. it did not work that well. the disappointments brought back the tell how much doubt in my
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mind. brother appears revival failed to rekindle the feelings of intimacy with god that i felt during my early evangelist days. now i thought to be disenfranchised from the relationship with god that i held very deeply. i lay down my life from my personal relationship with jesus christ. until then even as i had early doubts in religion and the pentecostal doctrine, those doubts had no ramifications for jesus and me personally. even the loss of confidence in the divine nature of the bible had not affected my relationship with jesus. i compartmentalized. no matter where i was in my spiritual life jesus was a constant companion. i continually since his presence. iblis easy to close my eyes and visually imagine jesus being there and listening to me.
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to see his hand in things that did or did not work out. feel the presence in the form of coupons that were like a breeze coming across the maternally. a confirmation of the tangible permanent presence in my life. with the panic attacks and the understanding of the affects of the nervous system on my perception of reality this special, personal relationship with jesus was finally challenged. it was a of a step too far in my reassessment of my faith. i realized i had drawn a circle around our relationship with jesus. it was like a crime scene tape, an area that no one could enter. as i grew older and more skeptical, i internally debated the of the ship of the bible, the fallacies of man-made religion, questioned the supernaturalism of a healing ministry like brother pierce's.
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my relationship with jesus had been untouchable. i was truly lost, and i remember thinking, this is what of lost person feels like. thank you. [applause] >> you can plan. i love clapping. just me. you can never come up too much for me. the more the better. so as many of you know my story, you know that i tell with that and moved on and tried to air completely free frame my appreciation of christianity in christian doctrine and how i could make it work. i began to see christianity and the teachings of the bible more profitable the control over the
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church. i try to address christianity from the perspective, as if doctrine, as of the bible itself was simply metaphor, but metaphor that could be used in a way to benefit people. so picking up in the story, referring to my time, my conversation skepticism makes with the reluctance tolerance. we could train at the gulf coast in august 2005 and the flood waters submerged much of new orleans, i turned my energies toward working with the mayor to open a relief center in town. early that fall my grew to nearly 100 members impacter little building. provided food and prayer to a steady stream of the drina
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refugees. offices and that upset a faction . extremely conservative christians inspired by the new testament in which god commands adam-and-eve to have dominion over a year if. some believe an extremely literal interpretation a bible doctrine. therefore the infamous advocation of starting as a punishment. for example, while others fervently away armageddon. believe that they bore engaged in a spiritual warfare with nonbelievers and those of in sufficient doubt. katrina was the judgment. the sure sign that armageddon was to come. at its core the diminished
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interpretation of katrina, the storm dominated and demonstrated that if you are not living right by god, he will refuse to protecting. of course, that clashed with my message, that god loves everyone i did not confront the dominion is directly, instead choosing to the minister to the sick and hungry who were refugees from the wireless. instead, i fumed at the diminished fraction increase. the tram was not about god's judgment. it was about to storm the started as a low pressure and slowly, dangerously group until a tropical wave of low pressure. katrina had a natural cause, not a supernatural. what flooded new orleans and cause them to go into exile was simply the catastrophic let the
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system that had been constructed by human hands. besides, i believe that what we did to help those affected by the storm, not by the storm, was what mattered the messages were planted positive. i preached that the storm and a moment to prove to guide just how loving we could be to one another. nevertheless i using they chided me after sunday services? it does not matter how the people in new ones left. they can be saved if they are alcoholics? i was unflinching in my answer. yes, i replied sternly. that is exactly what i'm saying. the dominguez simply shook their
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heads in disgust. even though i found a profound sense of fulfillment helping to train refugees by constant clash with the diminished lead to a feeling of the fall. i realize that many of the folks at grace held beliefs that were diametrically different from my own i was a sissy with ideas i did not share. this simply was not enough time to address every one of these wrong beliefs. the theology of the congregation they were going about the business of shaping the theology themselves. my liberal and moderate and tolerant qualities had the unintended effect of providing licenser radical voice to employees to create an atmosphere where like-minded voices could flourish.
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it was as if i had been in the activity seen in my front yard and allowed all manner of folks with crazy ideas to stand by and rant. the neighbors would say, well, if he belted he must support what's going on. that's what was happening. my open hearted embracing style was actually enabling bad spiritual habits as the clearest explanation i can give of why ministers to have moved away from their supernatural beliefs struggle with this duplicity. because as much as you want to get out and just preach that jesus loves everyone, there is an entire religious industry that is working against you. christian television, christian radio, christian literature. it's actually shipping the
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theology that you refuse to take a hand. as usual u.s.a., can i get a doorway? we will move in the questions that's all right. doing all right time wise. okay. so has the minister who is now completely realizing he is out of place and have seen with the ministry, you will have to pardon me because the part about the diminished is one of the hardest parts for me. i honestly don't like the word. it describes a theology that we are hearing to. these were people that truly believed that what they were doing and what they believed was maki a difference, not just for the life of the family, but for the country. and they also love me. and i love them, and it made the
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distance between us almost unbearable because if i could have somehow taken away all the things that i had grown to believe or not believe in order to stay in unison with and i would have done it. i travel across this country, and everyone talks about, you're such a hero. you did this and you did that. the joke i make is, whenever the stuff going you take every compliment you can get. but i love for people to tell me i am a hero and how brave have been. i am telling you the truth of my heart when i tell you, if i could have been done when i was doing in my own mind and still been an honest person, i would have done it to say to these people, love them. if i could have somehow twisted it in my mind and made katrina
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to be something other than low pressure in warm water, and somehow be part of the spiritual warfare, would have done it. that is one of the most difficult parts for me. i've never wanted to be separated from them. but by this time i am. the slightest little remnant is still in my life by not be read just after midnight a list bus ride back into the crisis the labor so hard to avoid. finally lowered me to sleep. my cellphone let the brightly with an incoming call. as i reached over, the antique
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rectangle shape when nice and where my father arrested, my heart raced. dozens of late-night calls by more than few decades and the ministry. i knew that it is never a rise of this time of night. when i focused my eyes on the phone i saw the name of the college, and my spirits sank. it was the tush a davis. she ran the soundboard and grace of the quincy, truly a part of my family. i have entered your phone number to my phone under the name botox it davis / delete. though she stood at just barely 5-foot tall we love the nickname terror our little diva. her huge smile, quick witness, and willingness to assist the church with everything from the sun systems are used for winter and downsized presence in our church. as a pastor of the small church like grace of the quincy anyone who wants to help is appreciated
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. a strong talent and vibrant spirit like the tushes is an absolute treasure. the torture, i whispered, as i picked up the phone so as not to like kelly. yes, she stammered. even though she barely said a word, i could tell that she was already in tears. i slipped my shoes on, headed down the staircase, walked silently through the foyer and into the tiny bathroom our guest bedroom has to let kelly continue slipping. i stood uncomfortably between the biblical a bathtub and the bathroom sink which is eliminated by mr. brown live bulbs above a mirror that made the path from which we have not had the money to renovate resemble a backstage dressing room in the theater. they have one of those. as a steady myself, natasha told me that her brother had been severely injured in a motorcycle
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accident in the lake charles area. she explained that the position had failed to revive her brother and the specialists from the white she in visitor standing, having reached that moment in our lives when injury an inquiry about a loved one health have been exhausted and our ability to make a situation any better is depleted. to his at that moment when you call guns grace and perhaps a resolution to a moment that is steadily speeding toward tragedy i knew that she wanted me to pray for brother's condition to improve and fur to have the strength to whether the storm to pray that she was able to do the right thing and to not lose it a mr. family's tragedy. but he did not feed into this. she did not have to.
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any pastor worth his salt would not let the conversation go that far. the second and anguished calls are rice is the pastor's job to pray. just like when a friend or family member initiates a hug and embrace, it is understood an instinctual between two people who care for one another. i asked for a hug. i have no doubt in my mind what my role was as i listened to the tushes terrible telling of her brothers motorcycle wreck. yet i could not pray. and every second that went by felt like an eternity. a profound span of time when natasha, one of the most beloved members of my former congregation, was left helpless
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and without spiritual reassurance. i struggled to pray because all the conflicts that existed inside of me about my face which it temporarily resolved time and time again through my motivation to remain in the ministry said the fuse into an awareness that there was no got. but i could not pray for natasha because i loved her so deeply and could not bear setting her up for the kind of question and disappointment i had witnessed. the horrible tragedy. i have witnessed the an answered prayer, my own prayers' for larry's brother. if i pray for a talk shop and her brother does not make it, it would not be me who had
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disappointed her. it would be god. i did not want to initiate a natasha the long and painful journey of doubt that i had experienced. for the first time i turned to reason. natasha, i said in a common reassuring voice, it sounds like everyone at the house was doing everything they can. your brother is a young man in a strong man. they're bringing in specialists, so we're going to have to wait this out and see what happens. natasha, i'm telling you, it sounds like he is going to be all right. patricia thank me for taking the costs related night enter in countering words for encouragement. then just before we made our goodbyes the tushes said keep them in your prayers. 's among the and then replied, of course, natasha, of course. when i hung up the phone was
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heartbroken. in the that i deeply disappointed and realized at that moment that if i could not pray for a person who was so near and dear to me that my dream of returning to the minister was over. i had given up on preaching. but the ministry remained a far off remote possibility. now there was no minister left. i stared into the bathroom mirror. i was in tears. who the hell are you? it was done. i cannot continue to fool myself into thinking that i would one day find some form of christianity to participate in. i bounced from the nomination to the nomination from a liberal interpretation tenebrous of christianity.
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affinal reached a conclusion. i was looking at an atheist standing and looking in the mayor. it was a painful realization that the next moment nearly tore myself apart. in the guest bathroom i said three fun of the bonds. my cousin, my grandfather, and my father. i think that's as far as i can go. thank you. [applause] good. anybody have any questions?
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>> you're going to be on camera regardless. >> deleterious of what you may experience. we talk about a very eerie and psychic experience. and how do you -- what you make? >> a pastures relative was suffering from an aneurysm. the man of god goes and praise for this person. obviously that is a big thing.
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the pentecostal doctrine at the time. if i can get the mind of god would do more than just pray. i would have gone confirmation that he would kill this person. this because we pray for the things that are outside of the will of god. all my born have prayed asking god to confirm to me whether he would deal this person and then what i felt like at the time was a vision. i felt as if i receive confirmation that he would do so. the problem was, did not know enough to affirmation about the and lady to track down which hospital she was in much less which room she was in. the good minister that i knew vaguely. and so the only thing i did know was that the person you told me about the sick woman actually tell me the town bully was then.
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and so the next day my wife and i got in our puke the saber and drove to that town, very large town, drove their not know which hospital to stop that. from the interstate, and overpass, i saw hospital. i felt in my mind at that time the magnetic pole to the hospital. so we pulled in the parking lot. we found the elevators. we got into the elevators. i just pressed a button. to this day i still don't remember which for oppressed. we came out on the seventh block filled with nurses and patients. we walk down the corridor. going to meet intersection. i would simply pray and try to get a feel for which direction gun was leading me. i felt and magnetic -- something internally pulling me. i would take that pathway. eventually i felt like to
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complete the missile. but instead of went ahead and pushed open the door. when i pushed open the door there when the pastor. it was it the famine of the confirmation by gun the night before. instead of walking in and saying a prayer like to my god, would you please fill this person, i looked at this languished body and said, be it never healed. a few days later she was out of the hospital. and so this gift, people, they're like, why did you write that book? and the sounds like you have more proof than most people that god exists. and this is the power of coincidence. because i don't remember all of the time and i felt like of let me down the pathway that ended up being a true dead-end. i definitely remember this one.
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this was a hit and not a mess. part of our human psychology, of course, is to remember the hits and not the missus. this is a big hit, and it is really, really awesome. everyone from a beautiful story and i'm really glad that it turned out the way it was, that it did. the reality of this it really was a very profound coincidence. that is why we remember it. ..
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>> do you still remember that as actual things that happened to you? >> yes. as receiving messages? >> in particular the one time we talk about where i had heard the voice of god.
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that god was the internal thought. we talk about we heard the voice of god with my own ears. when every read the book you are with me through that whole story that life is about as messed up as life could be. i would not hold it against the trailer. it is great. [laughter] i believe that was completely in the emotionally exhausted and i think my nervous system was erected at was so desperate plea you relay i've been asked to move 1,000 miles away to move to new des moines, iowa to be a student minister. i can tell you the moment i
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was asked i thought i should do it there was so many parts of me that did not want to make that kind of a commitment or leave my family or goes to the pain and struggle that you go through moving that far but another part of me knew that i was supposed to do it but he emotionally and physically i think it was a hallucination. so with those strong impressions i have had previously. but as far as reading the bible and feeling as if i was hearing messages from god as far as my speech or the message should be laid out i was incredibly clever. [laughter]
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>> can you still speak intel? >> absolutely. >> can you still do that? >> no. >> come on. >> i cannot do it as long as my grandmother is alive. it will be of really big event when i do it. i definitely could. i have since coming to the conclusion with the realization i am an atheist and i always tried to do that it is not a choice it is a realization that you discover about yourself so even since then on and still able to do it. there has been as a times of has happened spontaneously because that'll set out to say i will speak in tones but i have had the emotional moments going down the interstate with the music just right with it extremely hardworking sought and an
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old neurological path it just pops up. there you are. it is actually still very pleasurable. [laughter] unless you're caught in public doing it. [laughter] you said you're leaving earlier. >> a lot of people are just tied it it will be very, very hard to think rationally or reasonably being african-american it is died -- tied to the
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religious beliefs and we are some of the most preying individuals that i no. given all of the praying that we do, the with think our plates would be different or we would have some favor of some sort but we do not. how would you replace, a feat with african-americans, not just nast's -- necessarily african-americans but have a historical connection to their religious beliefs, you have to replace it with something. what are your thoughts about that? i am just a person may need reason and science and that is all i need but other people, it is about patterns and they want to say those are something religious. it is just a pattern. what do we need to replace it with so people can let go
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of it? >> that is a very good question and for me, you have to make it to boot camp. first, within the sector their community the on the reason we feel we have to replace it is because it is such a long standing part of our heritage. we are not to figure out what to place religion with or culture would have developed a different way. but if we choose to replace it and feel like we would benefit, what prayer can be replaced because when you pray you to the belief in and feel that you have the attention of an outsider who
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is going to work on your behalf with 30 wanted you to or not there is no way to replace that or not so that cannot be done. the dissenters you to put you in a moment but just as prayer does from our particular background. when i feel wrestle slipping into a rat i will do something as simple as what i put my hand on something you just like the coldness of this metal i will bring a witness to the fact i am feeling be sensation bringing me to the moment it
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may times prayer can bring you to the moment there is just the and ending a re. for the martial arts is one of them. >> but those that are tied to religion but to be able to be themselves. >> you are right. that is the archetype within the culture right now so what we're doing intentionally or unintentionally is creating a new archetype the type of person that does feel empowered.
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upon anything supernatural. with these days people will feel empowered on their own. >> i have two questions. moving forward it is obvious what is your vision for louisiana? and my second question is what it you say when somebody says. [inaudible] [laughter] >> i should answer the second one first. if somebody sneezes.
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it took everything i could do to say -- not say god bless you the only reason i say it is it makes other atheist so bad. it is just words. people just say god bless you but especially coming from the deep south i know all the years, 43 years with some of the woods these near me and i said god bless you i knew what i meant and what i did not mean and what i did not mean is made out we give you a bountiful harvest. i did not mean jehovah for me to bless me. it is culture. i use that segued into the first question to die politically avoid that well enough? [laughter] this is about culture i will get in so much trouble.
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there are so many things part of the secular movement are offended by or worried about that i don't worry about. some of them are considered to the cultural. this is where i will really get in trouble but i don't see winning for our side as the annihilation of religion. what i would like to see is for us to develop a culture where they stop taking it seriously with christmas or thanksgiving to then in force policy.
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remember the days when we took it that seriously? so for me to work within communities and the culture that already exist. so like in charles louisiana, people ask to start a secular church. write their cause is red flags that gives people the shivers. it will for a lot of people. it is to do something extraordinary outside of the movement but just within the short year and a half i have realized this need was already existing for a very particular people and personality. the way that we need it is how it is culturally significant. doesn't matter for the mom
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and dad to ever attended the meeting on sunday morning. is that cultural? is that the end of the role that leads to supernaturalism? it may just be cultural. that is my vision to figure out what is the people of our deep south culture. you've already funded one chapel in louisiana and the inaugural service in bad rouge and some of you were there. i appreciated very much. >> it is a tricky question where will we meet what we are already finding is just the idea the media forms as the atheist church but that is not the way we look at it
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as a church service focusing on secular values but the problem that we've run into is there is so much backlash in the community it is difficult to find summary could put our deposit to that we know they will let us have service with the protesters show up so we are trying to work that out as we will have the for service at the end of august in lake charles and make sure every buddy knows where it is that. hopefully they have good insurance. >> i will not say looks like pentecostal because that may be too much for every betty
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but it be but it looks like a fun baptist church service [laughter] it is pentecostal thing it is the voice of baptists thing we love the lord to. >> i know but not as much as the pentecostal so there is music ahead jazz music playing in the background and it did open up with a video with his voice in the background talk about how wonderful it is to be alive. the culture is the most best to celebrate the moment and life we want to continue to do that that is also to
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enjoy the moment am i so it looks a laboratory we had fun music to sing along to an end a lot of times it is set up like a concert but that is not what you do in a good church everybody can sing along i will not mention to our guest speaker was but i thought he did a good job so it really looks like a church and the messages about secular values it appreciation of the moment there really our goal is a phase spiritualist comes and if they leave offended it is not because of what they did not hear it is not our desire to be
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anti-anything we want to be pro-life. that was a horrible puns but there you go any of their questions? >> with your universalism it is what you change you have a natural you want everybody to be. >> i do. >> you grew up with pentecostal is that were pretty serious where did that come from? >> a completely sold me at the kitchen table they misled me and fooled me. my grandmother really was in my mind the most christlike person to live and still is in some anyways so primarily because of her presence and
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personality i really did think we loved everybody so i was not even getting mixed signals because i knew we had the us pentecospentecos tal lifestyle and did not have facial hair but at the same time i watched my grandmother without exception love everyone and everyone was expected to that table so somewhere in the midst of her being my model for christ i naturally assumed everybody was welcome at the large table as they were not after the initiation but accepted just as they were. so to my surprise at 17 when i was beginning to preach the pentecostal doctrine that it was difficult to be
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saved being lost was easy so i struggled with the concept i quickly realized my heart was kinder than my doctor and some of the crew those that supported biblically universally and they're very easy to find with chris gent on dash christian history that many fathers of the early church salt the sacrifice as christ as all mankind so universalism was very important they were important to me and every time i would hit a stumbling
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block with the bible and the infallible that only joe for a closer to what that was a relationship with god because it was so obvious this is the forest for the tree is so obvious christianity does not work it does not make the world better it doesn't end in human suffering or even make the participants that much better. and i was disciplined the half with the message of jesus christ and i was a part of that for a long time for it is amazing to have
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that much ego in this small of a body. [laughter] i will repeat your question. >> [inaudible] >> even with religion there is anonymous forums even like of the web site that we could do with the clergy project to meet people in a way that hopefully will not jeopardize your life that all. there is a lot of different places. i received fantastic support from the foundation beyond belief. that is for people that are
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interested in charitable activities even though they are now add a religion they could contribute to interface charities trying to do good. even does the secular campaign with these projects is addressing so is cookie cutter and religion from my experience tries to shape into what fits the right now it is so broad that almost regardless of your personality you can find your niche and resources to help it is just amazing. there is fantastic work for that so there is truly
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something for everybody. >> don't let me go now. i am enjoying it. [laughter] any questions for the process of writing the book? for the corridors? i would love to involve him. of course, we have the 30 project, how did we work together? do you want to take that? come around. >> how did we work together? we work together very quickly. as some of you know, in "the new york times" magazine last august of 2012
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and he got a number of book deal offers just based on that article without one sentence of trading. [laughter] and i told jerry how incredibly rare that is. for somebody that believes in god. [laughter] is vastly better but getting book deal offers of a single piece of writing is far beyond. with these offers and with help putting this together with a mystery man preaching to have an agent in common
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it so happens but although atheism is not something i am known for at all, but of course, but with those book deal offers there's always something. [laughter] it is a trade-off something else that you have to sacrifice and that was given the high profile nature. >> but but he is so
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magnificent at speaking words but the book was preached out but jerry says i could not have done this without you but that it would funnel at best for jerry's preaching that is the way it worked. >> not very long at all shockingly. anywhere between four or six months period that is not including editing and everything else. that is not six months of every day work. >> we had drafted about four months really.
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[laughter] >> about six months. so that kind of saying that you hear a and see now with the q&a sessions, the same sort of thing. >> was therapeutic i had the idea to put the words on paper to spell check. that did not last very long at all. but to put too much i would put like 10,000 words and he would send back 4,000 words and 50 questions. it is so obvious i don't know what i am doing here. when we got into scaping i cannot tell you how therapeutic that was.
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everybody should write a book write the book of your life because it was so incredibly therapeutic because on stipe i would be crying oh my god. [laughter] he would say take your time. [laughter] >> the question was with things be different if we had lager to write the book? i don't think so. i think the structure of the book the way everything played out of how your life went.
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in this is how i.m. with everything that i do to feel that things could be edited or were too long or why did i use this word choice i feel it is writers regret. i actually don't look any of my books for that reason because i find it upsetting to suggest see the things that i do not like. would there be things i would change? yes. absolutely. but i don't think this time frame is relevant. >> we were fortunate that so i had several opportunities i was forced coming to think my way through the story. i would never forget the
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very beginning that this is just insane. because in the past he has to pool so much information. so that will benefit the story in some form. it is also very grueling. what you remember about that? i am two old. it takes a lot out of you and you really relive your entire life and i am thankful that happened. >> i want to compare how was working with him different? working with those with other issues are maybe going
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in for one shot and then these subjects to have all of these one-on-one conversations. >> with the comparison of my past experiences as the investigative reporter compared to writing with jerry, but on the one hand it is vastly different particularly on the investigative reporting side where had written three books about specific crimes and those were unbelievably difficult to put together because i was putting together dozens of people's interview or court documents , people who were
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very angry with me for contacting them in people who wanted to kill me. [laughter] on the one hand it was very different to have a single source and to have that be available so that makes it remarkably easy in comparison to my past work. [laughter] but in terms of being the same what is interesting is my background is not in religion or the secular community but the things that i really liked about jerry and his story that i did not find out until i started to work with him but how driven by humanism jerry is and how one willing he has been to this day to
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write off people in his life that had vastly different views than what he holds. that struck a deep chord with me in particular after i wrote my last book by became an investigator in the community and i feel a lot of the people they deal with are similar. [laughter] but i have a deep love and respect for those people that i don't at all share their view of life. and to talk about the diminutive your love of them even though you are across a chasm is geologically, it is very much how i feel about the people i work with dave
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today that i encounter some of the most forgiving and loving and unbelievably caring people and the world almost on a daily basis in my job but yet so with the religious place it is an indifferent universe so on the one hand investigative reporting is vastly different but on the other hand, might emergence to do criminal investigations is louisiana when i am around to religious people gives me that connection. >> that the immediate best part is the hardest part. but if i had the last -- least favorite that is the important part of the story that needs to be told it is
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the least flattering of every encounter that i have throughout the whole book it is very hard to tillable sides because they do love them all so much. anybody else? >> coming to my mind, i left the button with the unitarian church i attending the episcopal church. i like the music and the architecture. i read the books divinities of doubt. he prosecuted over 200 cases it only lost to but he is an x catholic. his book argues no other
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atheists can prove their case. i read a book by rob bell. i have a history of alzheimer's in the family but he is arguing he starts off struggling with a spiritual stuff but to show how modern astronomy and physics for the material world is not all what we think it is with the subatomic particles at the same time so if not you're not listening to what is being said talk about 11
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dimensions the only experience for and so on it puzzles me that there is no meeting beyond what we experience given this it is very disappointing when one concept of god is disillusioning but there is no other concept of meaning of life and the universe? >> that is a fair question and i get it all the time because it is such a good question i have a little creed that i say that skepticism is by nature of
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free thought is my methodology agnosticism is my conclusion, that is the answer to what you say right thereafter to five years of spiritual pursuits i cannot on the other end agnostic to know that i don't know and i don't know if i will but that is my conclusion so then atheism is my opinion sometimes they can crack quantum physics to such a degree the of laser pierces through the housing of the face of god to get a pitcher of cheeses than my opinion will change but until that happens it is an opinion but people are not coming at this from two different directions the atheist makes a claim in the fiesta is not
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they're not equal and they are not valid etfs says item c1 i don't see a guide. they cannot say there is no cost to mention but since we have not seen that yet we will do our best and enjoy what we can enjoy and they're all different types that say all different types of thing is based on their personality but if a person will engage in these discussions they will become very clear about what the difference -- definitions are or are not so it is these teams that play against each other.
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>> but to talk about the atheist. >> is there any other atheist? besides that? [laughter] >> there is a couple of others so with that by neurologic -- by nearly logic that is not sophisticated. >> i can appreciate that there is a lot of different arguments and some of them transcend the argument themselves sometime to look so far outside the scope that we completely lose
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context that by and large if they use the phrase title believe there is a guide did not mean in the form of choice the same way people choose my face but instead they simply say i have been honest with myself and i honestly don't believe that's it is outside of the realm of religious experience but in the bipolar culture and bipartisan culture we will never do that the argument will balance between the extremes so the actors of the episcopal church so how
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many people did that? [laughter] >> i went to santa monica so we have mormons coming through therapy. [laughter] to be that for all individuals.
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and would never promised that we have of early childhood that is not released. we struggle to push it over and over. is this right have a life after death? >> i think it is the fact we don't want to die. we have never been dead. any housekeeping?
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>> we enjoy these thought-provoking discussions. thank you. be happy to sign books right here at the table thank you for being here and we have a wonderful meeting. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> about every 40 years someone comes in to try to dominate the afghan scene and control it to use it for its own purposes. there have been periods of afghan history